Investigation continues into author of list

Published 11:52 pm Thursday, March 9, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
BUCHANAN - The Buchanan Police Dept. will be visiting the Buchanan High School for a second day in a row Thursday. Police Chief Bill Marx said the department is still searching for a solid lead on a suspicious letter found Tuesday morning in a classroom at the school.
It was on Tuesday morning when a suspicious hand-written letter making threats toward students was found in a classroom, said David Casey, superintendent of Buchanan Community Schools.
Marx also said police are investigating an alleged bomb threat. A separate letter was found Monday at the high school referring to a bomb, Marx said.
Police are not sure if the two documents are linked, Marx added. The chief also said the letter gave a date and time the bomb would go off, but he would not disclose that information.
Meanwhile, Marx said he was in contact with Principal Richard Gregg Wednesday night and again Thursday morning.
Every student was sent home with a note to parents Wednesday afternoon, Casey said. School officials are also offering a $500 reward for anyone who steps forward to identify the author of the letter. Casey added the school intends to prosecute those responsible.
School officials, nor police, are yet to disclose publicly the number of students on the list or the exact content of the document.
The superintendent added there was no truth to the rumors that the FBI had been called to assist with the investigation.
Some parents chose to keep their children at home Wednesday, but Casey said that number was less than 20.
A parent who did keep her son out of school Wednesday and Thursday was Rhonda Rauen. Her son Arron Sater is a sophomore at the high school and was allegedly one of the students named in the letter. But, Rauen said the school has failed to inform her properly about the document.
Rauen said she contacted the assistant principal of the high school, William Magley, herself on Wednesday. Through that conversation, Rauen said she was told her son was on the list, but she was not given any more information on the situation.
Sater said the principal made an announcement about the letter at the end of the day Tuesday, but, he said rumors of the document and its contents were floating around the hallways of the school since that morning.
Sater said the talk among students was that a letter threatening to harm about 24 students was found in school. Both males and females were named in the list, but no threats were made toward any freshman, Sater said. He added he heard a few of his friends may also be listed in the document.
Marx said officers spoke with more than 13 students Wednesday and will return to the school again today in search of a more solid lead.
The amount of media presence surrounding the school may be scaring the author of the letter, especially if it was done as a prank, Marx said. More information may surface in a few days when news of the event begins to fade, Marx added.